Part One - The work done on a body is defined as the product of displacement and the component force in the direction of the displacement, i.e. are you going my way , Baby?
Happy hour descended with open arms upon the upper-middle-class New Haven crowd. The professionals, with their five-hundred-dollar suits covering the pierced belly buttons they had acquired during their grunge teenage years, sipped Spanish Merlots and highballs to the sound of flutes. The current tune was Eduardo Forgivo's tribute to Melissa Etheridge's "Unusual Kiss."
"Can I get something for you, Miss?" the bartender asked, directing his question to a young blond woman sitting at the bar with her back to him. She turned when she heard his inquiry and smiled with even, white teeth. He was a buff, Bostonian-looking boy, dressed in a green striped shirt and matching bow tie, and in the middle of his chin he had a single deep dimple that Grace Wilson found interesting. And his nametag said it all: "Buck."
"A pink squirrel, please," the doctor replied and continued to scan the bar for her lover. When her visual search came up with no hits, she turned back to the bar, checked her watch, and cursed.
"And what can I get for you?" Buck directed his question over Grace's right shoulder. A woman slid onto the stool next to her, looking the doctor up and down with a wolfish, appraising eye.
"I'll take a rabid blond chipmunk," the deep, sexy voice replied.
"Sorry, but I don't know that one. Care to help me out with it?"
"Well...I'll give you a hint; it's golden, sweet, and a little nutty. It packs a sharp little bite, and it only takes one to infect you."
"So what is that—creme de almond?"
"That'll work—the brown stuff, and a shot of Jim Beam."
"I can't believe you sometimes," the young doctor said with a disapproving grin and her cheeks as red as a maraschino cherry.
"Stick a little fruit in it too," Dana requested. She turned to the cute blonde. "All I did was order a drink, lady." Buck returned with her concoction. "Thanks," she said.
"You made up that drink."
Dana wiggled her eyebrows at her embarrassed friend and took a sip. "Yum-yum. Tastes almost as good as the real thing." She licked a creamy mustache from her upper lip and watched Grace's face blush an impossible red. "You look like you just ate a haberno pepper."
"This is the last time I meet you in a bar—in a public place, for that matter." She spun away from Dana's leer to face the crowd. Dana downed the rest of her drink, knowing her partner loved the attention.
"Ready for another?" Buck asked as he walked by.
"Always. But I'll have the next one later," Dana said, nudging her companion's elbow.
"Knock it off." Grace whispered her warning.
Doc Papadopolis was smiling from ear to ear, a rarity in public. But Grace embarrassed so easily in these froufrou places, and the childish part of Doc's wicked persona could not resist. Sometimes she liked to be the kid from the other side of the tracks, the hoodlum, the hellraiser with the dirty mind. Beavis or Butthead; It didn't matter. She reached into the communal basket of pretzels on the bar and began to munch. "How was your interview with the Times?"
Grace shrugged. "Okay, I guess. Barbara took over two minutes into it and didn't let me get many words in."
"I'm telling you, she's not going to get over that FBI thing for another decade or so." Dana began spinning back and forth on her chair.
"I'm beginning to believe you," Grace said, sipping her cool drink and watching her friend twist. Finally she grabbed Dana's legs and made her stop swirling. But she smiled at the burst of playfulness and giddiness of her usually reserved friend. "Did you take happy pills or something, Dana?" she asked.
"Just a few dozen Dramamine," she said with a wicked smile and a tilt of her head. "I think I'm trippin'," she teased and began to spin again.
"I'm never going to hear the end of that, am I?"
"Nope." Dana turned to the bar and began to tap out the rhythm of the song playing. It was awful. "Jesus, what kind of shit are they listening to? Next thing you know they'll be playing Celine Dion."
"I like Celine Dion."
"Mm-hmm. You know, I feel almost good enough to play some real music for these wienies myself," she said, looking around at the humming executives.
"You mean the guitar?" Grace asked, completely surprised at Dana's attitude.
"No, my armpit, Grace. Of course the guitar."
"But you never play in public, and you only play for me once in a blue moon."
"Maybe we should check the alignment of the planets or something," Dana teased.
Grace reached over to feel her forehead for a fever.
Dana leaned toward the caregiver so that they were breathing in each other's exhalations. "Touch me again, and I swear I will take you right here on the bar," she growled. Grace pulled her hand away quickly and took hold of her drink glass instead, the voice so husky and the look in her lover's eyes so bestial that her hand was shaking and a little shiver ran the expanse of her spine. "Let me taste your drink," Dana demanded. Grace lifted the glass and tilted it to Dana's lips for a sip. "Creme of almond, white creme de cacao, ice, and..." she smacked her lips, "...milk. A place like this, he should have used ice cream. Hey!" she bellowed, waving Buck the Bartender over. "This lady wants her drink with vanilla ice cream, not milk."
"I'm all set, really," Grace said, trying to make up for her friend.
"No problem, I can do ice cream for you," he said with a wink and moved over to make her another pink squirrel.
"Dana, you really are acting strange."
"Strange? I just feel good. It's not strange to feel good, is it?"
"—Do you know who that lady over there is?" Dana interrupted. She pointed to a woman in a red suitcoat and knock-me-down high heels sitting near the front window of the bar.
"Never seen her before."
"She's a hooker."
"And she was at York for two years for offing Senator Wilcox."
Grace squinted at the woman. "Only two years for killing him?"
"He beat her within an inch of her life, Grace. I would have offed him too."
A silence settled in, dulling the vibrant happiness to a watermark. Still Dana continued. "She had a really good lawyer that took her case for the appeal. I think he was an ex-john. It was a high-profile case, and I think he made a name for himself when he managed to get her out."
"Old Senator Wilcox?" Grace said. Her mind was working, trying to retrieve memories.
Dana nodded. Grace remembered the murder from the papers during her freshman year at Yale.
"Old Senator Wilcox was a mean, dirty bastard." The woman they were staring at looked back at them. Her face puzzled for a moment and then seemed to ease with recognition. She leaned across to her companion, a man with thick, curly gray hair and a pointy beard. A moment later the woman was on her feet, walking toward the bar.
"I do believe you have been re-cog-nized," Grace commented with a slight Southern accent, using a whisper to her tall companion. From the corner of her eye she watched as her Dana transformed into something from years past, her body stiffening and her happy face becoming emotionless.
"Hel-lo there, beautiful," the approaching redhead said, stepping up next to the bar. "Want to buy me a drink?"
Doc shifted, uncomfortable with the new company. A long half-minute passed. Grace had become acutely aware of the darkness descending upon her lover.
"Oh, come now, Doc, the least you can do is quench my thirst."
"What would you like?" Dana asked in the same odd business tone she now took with Barbara Buchler whenever they spoke directly, without a middle person.
"A slow fizz."
Doc reached over the bar and caught Buck's sleeve. He looked at her with the patience of Saint Patrick. "Slow fizz for the lady, please," she ordered.
"No problem." He looked over at Grace and winked, which Doc noticed, then turned to make the drink.
"None of that cheap well water," the redhead directed. She turned to face the tall ex-con. "Sooo...." she said in that drawn-out way that really asked, "How the hell did you get out of the slammer?"
"Want that blond chipmunk yet?" Buck asked when he placed the gin drink on the bar. The lady looked at Doc in amusement.
"Captain Morgan on the rocks."
He poured a spiced rum and set it out for her.
"Who's your little playmate, Doc?"
"Grace Wilson." The little playmate extended a French-manicured hand.
"Madeline Stokes," the redhead replied with a limp-fish grip.
"Who's your...friend?" Dana asked, indicating the bearded man sitting by the window and taking a sip of rum.
"You mean my husband? That's Barry." She chuckled. "He was my lawyer," she explained to Grace. "He's one of those do-gooder types." She became almost wistful. "I fell in love with him at first sight. He's the one that won my appeal, Doc."
"So you aren't turning tri—"
Grace smacked Dana's shoulder.
"'Turning tricks,' Doc?" she finished for the ex-con.
"Nope. I've changed. See, Barry believes in me, believed in me, and that has made all of the difference in the world," she said proudly. "What about you? Have you taken anyone out with your dental floss lately?"
Dana's body became completely still, and Grace noted that the technician was barely breathing. She wondered if this woman had had anything to do with her lover's torment.
"No. Dana's been busy finding a cure for cancer," Grace chimed in dutifully, feeling protective.
Madeline sipped her drink while she watched the two women exchange glances. "Mm-hmm, you sure have grown up. You're not the scrawny little bookworm that used to hang out in the common room doing multiplication problems."
"Whatever. We used to call her Doc because she was so studious, always reading, and always wearing those silly wire-rimmed glasses. What's it been—ten years?"
"They let you out in 2009. Eight years."
That seemed profound to Madeline. "So I take it life is much better for you now."
That was an understatement. "Actually, life's pretty wonderful," Dana said before sucking down half her drink. Some of the cloud seemed to lift when she looked at Grace.
"I'm glad for you, kid." Madeline finished her drink. "Well, I had better get back to my sweetie before he gets too cold."
"I bet you would know exactly how to warm him up." Dana nodded as she left.
Madeline laughed. "Nice meeting you, Grace," she said with a smile and walked away.
"I want to go," Dana said, pushing her half-empty glass to the middle of the bar and leaving money with it.
"Okay," Grace replied, a bit saddened by the change from the earlier mood. "But only if you promise to stop at the liquor store and get the booze to make me a few more of these," she demanded, indicating her empty glass.
Dana smiled and nodded, but Grace could tell that the moment of peace had passed. She would have done anything to bring that silly joy back. "I'll even treat you to a screaming blond chipmunk," she whispered while leaning in so closely that their noses touched.
"It's a rabid blonde chipmunk, and what did I tell you I would do if you touched me again?" Dana stated, almost growling.
Grace sat back, nervously aroused at the tone. "You wouldn't dare."
To Dana's credit, her threat was not hollow. She did seriously contemplate crushing the smaller, supple body against the warm, polished wood, reaching up her skirt and experimenting a little with public sex. But then propriety reared its quadrangular head, and she found herself grabbing Grace by the hand and dragging her out of the trendy pub.
Dana walked two steps behind Grace, her arms laden with bottles of booze, a half-gallon of vanilla ice cream, and a bag of Chinese food, watching the rise and fall of Grace's firm rear end. It had taken Dana an extreme amount of willpower and her lover's insistence that a foray in the car would fall below the benchmark standard of the living room floor to make Dana give up on attempting sex in the little Wrangler in the parking lot of the bar. Grace punched in the security code—several times—and then held the door open while Rip exercised her right to the front yard, dog tags jingling, and Dana entered. Dana headed straight for the kitchen, taking out the blender, and set to making Grace her squirrels. Grace set up the Chinese food on the table with the good dishware, humming the last song she had heard on the radio. By the time the food was set out, the drinks were ready, and Dana was ready for real music.
"Are you going to let me in on what brought on such a good mood earlier?" the doctor asked, taking her seat across from her dark-haired lover.
"Take your clothes off for me and I will," Dana said, placing a forkful of oriental vegetables into her mouth.
Grace laughed. "We aren't going to have a single normal conversation tonight, are we?"
"I don't have any idea what you mean by 'normal'" was the reply through a full mouth as a long arm reached for the Sechuan chicken."
"Never mind," Grace grumbled and spooned out rice and beef with pea pods onto her own plate, then doused the pile with soy sauce.
"So are you going to take your clothes off?" she was asked again.
"Okay," Dana replied and set to devouring her food. For a few minutes the only sounds that could be heard in the small cottage house were the sounds of forks scraping the good china. Grace finished her drink. As soon as the last of the sweet concoction was gone, Dana removed the glass from the table and refilled it from the pitcher.
"You're getting me drunk."
"No, the alcohol is getting you drunk. I'm only creating the temptation." With a wink, she handed the full glass to the blonde. Grace took another yummy sip, a big one. She was already way past buzzed.
"So you want me to take my clothes off for you?"
Dana looked up from her food, a bean sprout dangling from her wolfish grin. She sucked the sprout in like a stand of spaghetti. "I only want what's best for you," she said, her smile turning to a charming one. Oh, yeah, Grace was drunk—just look at those eyes.
"Well, if you put it that way," Grace slurred. She stood up, her cloth napkin falling unnoticed to the floor, and walked over to Dana's side of the round glass table. With painful slowness she eased the tiny top button of her blouse from its hole. Her finger slid slowly down the white silk to the next button, and it was only seconds before the pearly round nub easily slipped free, the soft material spreading open, revealing the pale flesh and the beginning curves of cleavage. She was swaying slightly, rocking with the caresses of her skin by her own fingers as they moved down to the next small button.
Dana had stopped eating and sat transfixed by the beauty revealing herself.
When she had gotten halfway down the shirtfront, Grace shifted her attention to the side zipper of her gray skirt and slowly pulled down. With her thumbs she pushed the fine wool over splendid hips to the floor, revealing the black garter and stockings that Dana had purchased for her during a rare mall trip.
Dana could not breathe.
Those pale fingers slid up to finish the blouse buttons and worked until the white material hung wide open.
Dana sucked in a breath at the sight of the flat tummy and round breasts contained by the white lace bra, forgetting to exhale as her eyes traveled down to the triangle formed where Grace's legs met her belly.
"Is this what you wanted to see?" Grace asked coolly, with just a hint of Southerness, and slipped off her shirt. Smoothly she released the clasp of her brassiere. She moved closer to the seated, flushed woman.
"It will do," Dana choked out.
Grace smiled, knowing she had her lover's mind and body wrapped tightly around her...little finger. She climbed astride her lover's lap, taking the back of Dana's head firmly into her hands, and stared into the dark eyes of desire.
Dana placed her hands on the fine, silky mesh covering the muscular thighs, and slid them in circles until her fingers brushed the soft, satiny bareness of the upper thighs. Her caress slid slowly back to the silk and then up again, working the fingers slightly inward, closer to the center of everything each time.
"So tell me," Grace whispered and then nipped hard into Dana's earlobe, stealing the remaining semblance of rational thought from the nano tech. The white, even teeth released their treasure. "Why were you in such a good mood earlier?"
Dana closed her eyes and swallowed. "Uhh...." She could not form the words in her mind to answer the question. The hot wetness of the doctor's tongue filled her ear, and she completely forgot the question. She was overwhelmed not only by the sight and feel of Grace's body and heat against hers but also by the tangible scent coming from her. She could hear the blood rushing from her brain with each nip and lick. Strong, trembling hands slid under Grace's bottom to the silk material covering the hot, moist flesh she sought to brush her fingers against. Grace lifted herself slightly, her mouth finding Dana's with urgency just as Dana discovered the smooth, wet skin. Both moaned as Grace pressed herself against her lover's gently probing hand. Dana responded to a pressure to open her mouth, teeth clicking against each other as Grace deepened the kiss with her tongue.
Grace pulled away abruptly. "Dana, I want more," she demanded.
Silently, Dana lifted them both, legs wrapped tightly around her thin waist as she carried her lover to the bedroom, making no effort to turn on the lights. She leaned forward, carefully placing Grace on the bed, then slid up to cover the nearly naked body with her own. God, the shared heat of their bodies was enough to satisfy her forever. She again found the doctor's lips and possessed them with her own greedy lust while burying her hands in soft, long hair. Her tongue dived deeper, trying to taste every nook of her partner's mouth, finding the salty taste of soy sauce delicious. The steaming body under her own reacted by bucking against the jean-clad thigh pressed between the two stocking-covered ones. A strong hand wandered down the exposed torso, across the bare flesh of a thigh, to the edge of the hose. Fingers easily unhooked the garter clasp on the front of the leg, then gently trailed around to unclasp the back. The tips of the long fingers slipped under the hem and pushed the light material down. Suddenly her mouth left its feast and targeted the newly exposed skin, tasting each new inch of thigh revealed, all the way down to the little toe. When she reached the scar on the side of the small foot, she began to kiss her way back up the inside of the naked leg, transferring her attention to the other leg at the very top, after a quick nudge with her nose and a carefully placed kiss at the apex of her lover's legs. Then she repeated the stocking removal.
"Jesus, Dana," Grace groaned, and arched when her lover's mouth reached the top of the other foot. The cool air on her now-unconstricted legs heightened her arousal, and the skin begged for more attention. Dana crept up the legs, alternating between the left and right with angel kisses and featherlight touches until her mouth reached the edge of the silk panties. The garter lay loose and relaxed, but Dana wanted it to remain on. She placed a kiss on the part of Grace's leg extending to the next target of attention, her cheek dampened from where it rested. Then she moved up, licking the skin at the edge of the panties, adjusting her body so that she rested between the bare legs. Her clothing was pleasantly rough against the doctor's tender skin. Then, without warning, Dana caught the front of the underwear with her teeth and the sides with her hands and yanked down hard, startling Grace as cool air surrounded her. Her lover pulled the remaining cloth from her body and then captured her roughly with a hot mouth, far-from-gentle tongue and teeth plying all the right places. Her knees were lifted, and the cotton of Dana's shirt brushed erotically against the back of her knees and thighs. From that moment on, what was being done became impressions. Her body moved with the intrinsic rhythm of pleasure until she began to shake, and then came the bright white light of rapture. When it was over, the third time, and her body was finally released, she lay somnolently, spent and wondering if she had ever felt this good before.
Dana crawled up the limp body, pulling her shirt over her head and tossing it toward the laundry basket. Flipping onto her back, she wiggled out of her jeans and underwear, then rolled over and wrapped her arms around the damp, relaxed form. She placed a proud kiss on her lover's cheek while she lay recovering. Nuzzling herself even closer, she enjoyed the smell of clean perspiration and sex.
Grace finally gathered the energy to turn her head to look at her lover. "So you like my underwear?"
Dana smiled against the tender flesh of Grace's neck. "I like the way you look in them."
Grace stared up at the ceiling, still a little stunned by the sheer glory of the past hour.
"And out of them," Dana added. A few minutes of silence passed while Grace decided if she wanted to pass out or pursue further interaction. If she gave in to the exhaustion, she would surely miss out on the rest of the evening, but then would she be able to walk in the morning? Ah, hell, it was Saturday—who cared?
"Dana, can I ask you a question?"
"Mmmm" was her answer. Dana was too busy reveling in being close to the object of her affection to have a deep discussion.
"Do you reach orgasm while you're..." she paused, "...um, doing me over and over?"
Dana's head popped up and she looked down at the beatific face below hers. "Hunh?"
"I mean, I know I've fallen asleep afterward, several times, especially when you get me drunk, and you never complain that you're not satisfied."
Dana rested her ear on her hand and pondered an appropriate response. "There are different levels of pleasure, Grace. I feel good just being with you, making you happy."
"So you don't come."
Dana smiled a crooked half-grin. "No, I don't come."
Grace rolled onto her side and propped herself up as well so that they were face to face. "That seems awfully unfair of me," she said, dragging a short fingernail down a flat belly. Dana's muscles twitched with interest. Grace leaned forward, kissing the technician softly on the mouth, smelling herself on Dana's face, and, surprisingly, feeling the tugging of aroused muscles deep within her gut again. She deepened the kiss as she pushed the tan body back by pressing a hand to a bare hip. Then the same gentle but knowing hand crept between long, lean legs, past moist curls into the soft heat. "How do you sleep when you're like this?" she asked, gently rubbing the tender, swollen skin.
Dana's blue eyes were closed and her jaw was set. "I don't want to talk," she grumbled as her breath quickened to the pace of the fingers touching her. Grace let her unanswered question pass as Dana's body shifted with responsiveness. Instead, she let her mouth roam with a series of bites, kisses, and licks, down the scarred, sinewy flesh of Dana's shoulders, lower until she had one hardened nipple in her mouth and the other pinched in her hand. Her other fingers gently explored Dana's softness. When she sucked hard and flicked her tongue, Dana responded with a jerk of her hips and a groan. Fingers skirted and teased relentlessly until Dana finally moaned from need. Grace released the breast from her mouth.
"Talk to me," she commanded as she rubbed her cheek against the wet nipple.
"I don't want to talk," Dana growled, her eyes shut tightly.
"How will I know what you want unless you tell me?" Grace's voice was quiet but determined.
Dana was at the point where she was desperate. After several passes and more teasing, she could not take any less; she needed Grace to have her.
"What do you want?" Grace whispered into Dana's flesh.
Dana growled before she whispered her needs to her lover.
Grace responded with a thrust of her fingers, and then bodies began to move in every plane. The doctor slid lower until she could taste and kiss her lover over and over. The almost inaudible moans increased with the strength of the kisses until Dana gasped and stiffened with the ultimate pleasure. Grace continued on the shaking body until Dana reached down and touched the blond head. Leaning forward, she breathed out the words "Grace, you've succeeded. You can come up for air now." But Grace continued her touches, softer now, making them even more physically inciting. She entwined her fingers between the long ones in her hair and pinned the hand to the comforter.
Dana's body began to respond again to the soft coaxing of the lips caressing her, and with that came the realization that her tipsy partner intended to give back what she usually received. With a smirk, the nano tech relaxed back into the soft quilt and decided to give her lover what she wanted. It was good to be a woman.
It wasn't until the fourth wave hit that Dana managed to roll far enough away from her rabid chipmunk to safety. It also happened to be off the bed and onto the floor. Wobbling on unsteady knees, she used the wall to help her stand.
Grace crept over to the edge of the bed, a devilish glint in her green eyes. "Get back here," she chirped
Dana, her back to the wall, was still catching her breath. "No way!" She began to slide toward the door, but Grace, on fresher runners' legs, was quicker and sprang to the door, closing it before her lover could escape. Dana slid back past the closet to the far corner of the room, keeping her distance.
"We have a lot of my selfishness to make up for, Doc," Grace told her as she stalked her around the room, always staying between the door and her lover.
"There really weren't that many times, Grace," Dana argued, stepping onto the bed and entertaining the thought of jumping past the smaller woman to the door.
"More than three."
"I counted four."
"No, the first was tit for tat. The others are payments for debits."
"Grace, you're going to wear me out."
"I finally made you make some noise, and you think I'm letting you go now?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"'Oh, God, oh, God, Grace!' I think is the direct quote."
Dana began to laugh at the situation and the spunky woman's crowing. The words had slipped out when the last intense release had come.
As soon as Dana laughed, Grace seized the opportunity to tackle her on the bed, pressing the tall woman back into the tangle of sheets and quilt. She pinned the strong arms by the wrists next to the splay of dark hair, the weight of her hips holding the long body to the mattress. She placed a gruff kiss of authority on Doc's lips. Dana smiled that silly smirk of hers when she was released from the kiss.
"I love you, Grace," she said so easily because it was true.
Grace sat up, her face easing from playful tormentor to gentle lover. "I love you more."
"Impossible," Dana replied, sitting up and wrapping her arms around the slender, petite body. She kissed her sweetly and then they rested, holding each other for a long time. "Still want to know why I was in such a good mood today?" Doc asked in a hush of a voice.
"I thought you would never get to it," Grace whispered into the dark hair she was nuzzling.
"Rachel and I ran the simulations today."
Grace pulled back and looked into Dana's sleepy eyes. "I thought you were waiting until Monday."
"We were ready today." Dana reclined, supported by her elbows. "We finished up a little after six, which is why I was late."
"Yeah, yeah—go on," Grace said nervously.
Dana checked her impatience with a look.
"Please tell me," Grace begged. "They must have been good, right? That's why you were so happy?"
"Ninety-nine percent survival rate in early carcinoma, ninety-two percent success in advanced cases with metastasis."
"What?! Ninety-nine percent? That's—that's unbelievable." The happy blonde stood up and began to hop up and down on the bed with excitement.
Dana nodded at the bouncing, naked Grace.
"We didn't even hit eighty percent with the Beta cure. Could—could there be a mistake?"
"I didn't find any preliminary indications, but I'm going to spend Monday with Rachel going through the framework of my sim program to make sure I haven't defined any relationships between variables erroneously. I mean, it's possible with a data-fusion system to incorrectly use a mathematical model to predict the way a human body is going to act. There's always the possibility I missed something or I labeled something as passive that should have been active or vice versa. Or maybe I—"
But she was cut off by Grace's celebratory kiss and a hug that made her incapable of breathing. She tasted the salt of Grace's tears of joy and pride. "We did it," the doctor said breathlessly when they separated.
"We still have clinical trials," Doc warned.
"This has to be the most perfect night of my life," the doctor said and kissed Dana again. Dana kissed her back, all the while swimming in her own happiness, knowing how truly blessed she was to have played such a large role in bringing Grace anything perfect.
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